Saturday, April 12, 2014

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – April 12th edition

This week’s SNGF posted by Randy Seaver over at Genea-Musings was definitely one mission that I could accept and accomplish. The only problem was that the results of the mission show I still have lots of work to do citing my sources! 

Randy’s mission (cue that Mission Impossible music) was as follows:
  1. Have you done a good job of citing your sources in your genealogy management program or online family tree?  How are you doing?  How many source citations do you have, and how many people are in your tree?  What is the sources to persons ratio?
  2. Which master source (e.g., 1900 U.S. census, Find A Grave, specific book, etc.) do you have the most citations for?  How many?  How did you figure this out?
  3. Tell us in your own blog post, in comments to this post, or on Facebook or Google+ in a post.  Be sure to leave a comment with a link to your post on this blog post.

I use Legacy Family Tree for my genealogy management program. In order to find the answers, I ran two reports. The first was a Statistics Report which gave me a total of 6,630 individuals in my main family file. (It also gave me lots of other fun statistics – births, marriages, and deaths by era or gender; number of children in a family by size or era; frequency (called popularity) of surnames and given names, in total and by century; number of unique locations as well as their frequency (again “most popular”), but I digress). The second was a Source Citation Report. I checked the boxes to number the master sources and to include the number of times the master source was cited and who used that master source. I have 131 master sources (did I mention that I am a lumper?). 

My Legacy Source Citation Report - in order of source names and
includes number of individuals using that master source

The Source Citation Report provides the master source citation as well as number of times it has been cited. There are a number of options (to include the individuals who use the master source, the citation detail, text, and/or comments, the surety level of citations, and the evidence analysis of citations). What was unclear (at least to me) is the entry order in which the Source Citation Report appears. After a bit of searching I discovered that the order is based on the source list name you have given your master sources as they appear in the Master Source List (an aside -  you can also see the total number of master sources right in the Master Source List). Since I organize by category, then by location, and then by date, my books show up first (all in alphabetical order), my censuses show up together (again in alphabetical order by country, state where appropriate, and then by year). Once you understand the order and you number the master sources, the Source Citation Report is a more useful tool (and it might affect the naming pattern you choose for your Master Source List).

Page 1 of my Legacy Source Citation Report begins with Books and are numbered
(I organize by category, note the source name lists as shown below)

First up as you can see is Death Records of Pierce County, Washington
as you can see the source list count is also shown here in the Master Source List

What I did not see in the Source Citation Report was the total number of source citations (perhaps I missed something). So I added together all the source citations (how many times each of the 131 master sources was used – that is where the source detail is used). I have 2,633 particular source citations. Assuming that each individual in my family file should have at least 5 source citations (birth, baptism, marriage, death and burial – and that does not even include any citations for the standard events/facts like census, military service, naturalization, etc.), I should have at least 33,150 source citations. It looks like I have some work ahead of me. 

This whole going back through and working on my source citations was my planned project for 2014 – I am doing it in small bites, an hour at a time. Right about now I think it might just be my planned project for 2015 as well. Did I thank you for that splash of cold water Randy? And how about we rename “sources to persons ratio” to something a bit more fun like “genealogy sources golden ratio” and give out virtual badges when we reach certain levels (I need some kind of "pat on the back" for this necessary but daunting task).
Okay, back to the mission - My top three master sources by use (assigned to and used with a person – you know that pesky source citation detail in Legacy) are:
  • 175 individuals  -  U.S. Census 1930, population schedule (with the top locations being Nebraska and Washington)
  • 169 individuals  -  U.S. Census 1920, population schedule (with the top locations being Nebraska and Washington)
  • 168 individuals  -  Find A Grave 
Finally, I agree with Randy’s thoughts on the quality of these reports. The Statistics Report and Source Citation Report are a good start but I would like more useful statistics and even greater detail to appear in these reports. I did find a way to gather this information in a useful format by using the search capabilities in Legacy. More on that in next week’s Tuesday’s Tip over in the Legacy Virtual Users’ Group Community on Google+. 

So, how did you fare with this week’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun mission?

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